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Singer, Storyteller and Teaching Artist

Karen Wilson-Ama’Echefu is such a versatile and compelling artist, it is challenging to quantify who and what she is in just a few paragraphs. To get to know this powerful artist is to come to the realization that she is both musician, storyteller, historian, activist and engaging public speaker. Her realm of expertise covers the gamut from holding degrees as a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem) to receiving her Master of Arts degree in Music Education from Columbia University where she also was involved in graduate studies in writing, literature, communication and classroom ethnography.

As if that would be enough to amass on anyone’s plate, she embarked on working towards a second Master’s degree and a Ph.D in U. S. History with a specific focus on African Diasporic Folklore from the University of California Riverside. That was coupled with being named a presidential Fellow as well as a member of a Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Workshop in the Humanities on Intellectual Activity. In addition, she was a Gilder-Lehrman Fellow at Colonial Williamsburg, investigating the African diasporic dimensions of the unsigned, 18
th Century watercolor The Old Plantation. Karen was also named a Regional Fulbright Research Fellow for studies and research in Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria and Ghana) for the 2011-12 academic year. Following that, she was named Senior Lecturer for the Faculty of Arts, Department of History and International Studies at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria in 2012. This evolved into a position in their newly created Department of Music in 2014.

Now back residing in the United States, Karen Wilson-Ama’Echefu is prepared and disposed to share her myriad of experiences with all types of audiences. She engages with listeners who are excited to see how her background and understanding can intertwine stories, music, history through the spoken word through music performance. Her programs can include linking stories with history, combined with music. She is passionate about how the West African Diasporic Blues Complex is a marker for African cultural presence in the Western Hemisphere and interlaces many of those cultural ideas into her programs.

In this country, we currently stand at a cultural crossroads, a place that most Americans thought we had conquered decades ago. This very dynamic performer’s programs create the atmosphere in which her audiences will go away knowing that what makes us different is what brings us together, as a nation, as humanki

Program Offerings
Bertha Hope, Pianist and Collaborator